We all face times when our life changes and we have to transition from what we know and venture into the unknown.  Children may feel many things from excitement  to anxiety and grief from leaving their primary school and the friends they knew.

The transition period can last a while as your child learns how to manage and cope in their new environment and adjusts to the greater expectations that are placed on them in terms of work load and behaviour.
Your child will have to make this transition to high school on their own but there are a number of things that you can do to assist them.

  1. Academic preparation: If you know or suspect your child may be falling behind in some areas of numeracy or literacy, consider getting a tutor to help them or contact your school to see if they offer assisted homework periods after school.
  2. Get connected to the school: Having a strong partnership with your children’s school is important. Keep in contact with subject teachers by phone or email to keep up to date with your child’s progress, and attend all parent-teacher interviews.
  3. Keep talking:  Teenagers aren’t always open about how things are going at school.  One way to get them to open up is to talk as a family   when you have your evening meal together and have everyone talk about their day. Tell them how you felt when you went to high school or started a new job and let them know that feeling anxious isn’t unusual. Some teens won’t like direct questions about their feelings, so you may need to approach the subject with care and not push them to answer your questions.

Support your child: Make sure you are there for them when they need you and keep your eye out for anything that may hint they are having a difficult time.  If you do see anything unusual in their behavior and they are unwilling to talk about it, perhaps talk to the teachers, and make your concerns known. Make sure you help them to manage their time to ensure they are keeping on top of their homework, assignments and study routine.

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